Singer Janelle Monae dropped the trailer for her new album, Dirty Computer, today-- yet again sparking rumors about her sexuality. This album, with its accompanying "film narrative," is the first since 2013's Electric Lady. Interspersed with visuals of a hot and heavy dance party, masked men dragging someone out of a van, and Monae in a futuristic white mask, the trailer includes images of Monae and actress Tessa Thompson embracing on a beach. These "San Junipero"-esque moments could be strictly platonic, yes, but we're hoping that maybe they're not.
This isn't the first time that Monae's work has been interpreted through a queer lens-- after The ArchAndroid dropped in 2010, she said in an interview with Rolling Stone that "the lesbian community has tried to claim [her]," before adding: "I only date androids."
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When Electric Lady dropped in 2013, the rumor mill started up again. In an interview with Huffington Post, she said she didn't know some fans thought her lyrics were about liking women.
"This is the first time I'm hearing it. But I will say that a lot of my work always comes from an authoritative stance, so it may not be about me; it may just be about a story, or something that I've witnessed, or my imagination," Monae said. "You just never know."
Her response was indifferent towards these interpretations.
"I'm a uniter," she said. "I won't allow myself to be a slave to my own interpretation of myself nor the interpretations that people may have of me. I just live my life, and people can feel free to discuss whatever it is that they think and use whatever adjectives they feel. It's a free country."